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Samuel Anoints David to Be Israel’s King

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you be filled with sorrow because of Saul? I have refused to have him as king over Israel. Fill your animal horn with olive oil and go on your way. I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? Suppose Saul hears about it. Then he’ll kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a young cow with you. Tell the elders of Bethlehem, ‘I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint for me the one I point out to you.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. He arrived at Bethlehem. The elders of the town met him. They were trembling with fear. They asked, “Have you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, I’ve come in peace. I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Set yourselves apart to him and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the Lord. He invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab. He thought, “This has to be the one the Lord wants me to anoint for him.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider how handsome or tall he is. I have not chosen him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outside of a person. But the Lord looks at what is in the heart.”

Then Jesse called for Abinadab. He had him walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.” Then Jesse had Shammah walk by. But Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said to him, “The Lord hasn’t chosen any of them.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these the only sons you have?”

“No,” Jesse answered. “My youngest son is taking care of the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him. We won’t sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 So Jesse sent for his son and had him brought in. He looked very healthy. He had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Get up and anoint him. This is the one.”

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